Nick Clegg, leader of the Liberal Democratic Party confirmed yesterday evening that his party’s annual conference was to be held in an annexe next to the main hall where the Conservative Party Conference is to be held in Birmingham.
Announcing the late change of venue, the Deputy Prime Minister stressed that the Lib Dem’s conference would continue to be totally independent from the Tory gathering. ‘Suggestions that our new conference venue is just a small room leading off the Tory hall are far from true,’ he told a gathering of Liberal activists. ‘I’ve visited the location personally and you have my word that it is some yards away from the Tories. We are at the end of a side corridor and our room, er, arena is plenty large enough for us all. Especially as Cyril is so sadly unable to be with is any longer.’
‘The main reason for the change in venue,’ continued Mr Clegg ‘is that I have to be on hand, as Deputy Prime Minister, in case David Cameron needs my input on important affairs of state. But this gives us an opportunity to show restraint; why have two expensive conferences when we could get a job lot booking?’
Although most leading Lib Dems sycophantically applauded the move, Vince Cable professed that was ‘unhappy’ to be sharing the annexe with other factions of the Tory Party including the 1922 Committee, the Young Conservatives and the Conservative Reform Group but he briefly brightened up upon hearing that his party would have to cosy up with the Tory Wives, only to have his hopes dashed when he was told this would only be when he and his colleagues were undertaking cloakroom duties.
Plans for the Lib Dems to hold a vegetarian meat raffle and a ecological tombola at the back of the main hall occupied by the Conservatives have been given the green light and as a gesture of solidarity to mark the first Coalition Party Conference it has been agreed to split the proceeds proportionally; with the Tories keeping the majority of takings.
A spokeswoman very close to No.10 Downing Street later confirmed that Mr Clegg was often needed for special duties. ‘Especially since the birth our baby daughter.’
Stan Laurel and simonjnr